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Strength Training, Metabolism and Energy Production

Friday, February 24, 2017

A study published in the journal Cell Metabolism looked at exercise tolerance and the ability of working muscles to resynthesize energy-rich, mitochondria-produced adenosine triphosphate (ATP), at a rate that matches or even exceeds energy expenditure.

This science is particularly interesting to those who strength train, and those who exercise regularly and strive for physical fitness at every age.


Sustained regeneration of ATP is driven principally by mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS), the metabolic pathway in which the mitochondria in cells use a range of different nutrients to create cellular energy.


For those of you who many not know, mitochondria are organelles inside every cell that take part in a variety of cellular metabolic functions, one of the most important being creation of biological energy. They are often referred to as "the power house of the cell."

In light of an aging population and the growing worldwide need to remain physically active to prolong health. Efforts to understand and modify exercise fatigue have become increasingly relevant to global health, including eye health. 

The study points out that habitual exercise not only improves physical fitness and muscle strength but also promotes metabolic health and mitigates a wide range of medical conditions, including excess weight.


Unfortunately, aging and other chronic life events are often accompanied by exercise intolerance, leading to a vicious cycle of inactivity and a breakdown of cross-body cellular structure and function.

Acetyl-CoA is the molecule that participates in biochemical reactions in protein, carbohydrate and lipid metabolism. Its main function is the delivery of the acetyl group to the citric acid cycle (Krebs cycle) to be oxidized for energy production.


Carnitine acetyltransferase (CrATs) is the mitochondrial matrix enzyme that catalyzes the interconversion of acetyl-CoA and acetyl carnitine.


Acetyl-l-carnitine is an acetylated form of l-carnitine, which is naturally produced in the body. It's also available as a dietary supplement (ALCAR) often recommended to improve energy and for transport fatty acids into the mitochondria for breakdown.


The Cell Metabolism ALCAR-supplemented mouse study shows that contractile activity (self-contraction) reverses acetyl-l-carnitine flux in muscles, from net production and efflux at rest to net uptake and consumption during exercise.


Interestingly, the study also found in exercise-trained versus untrained humans, post-exercise creatine, which supplies the energy necessary for muscle recovery rates, is positively associated with the CrAT activity and coincided with dramatic shifts in muscle acetyl-l-carnitine dynamics.

Mitochondria and eye structure and function

The retinal pigment epithelium layer is very rich in mitochondria and has some of the most metabolically active cells in the body. The retina and optic nerve are dependent on healthy mitochondria for vision to occur.

Ellen Troyer with Spencer Thornton, MD, David Amess and the Biosyntrx staff


The Cell Metabolism study further supports the vast amount of research published by Bruce Ames, PhD, and his Berkeley team on the benefits of supplemental ALCAR, including its effect on human energy production. It also supports our ongoing commitment to stressing the importance of daily exercise for optimal full body and eye health.  

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